We Ask PROMINENT LEADERS for Their Reaction to the Announcement of a New Inquiry
PLUS SCHOOLS PARTICIPATE!
The following are statements we've obtained from various POLITICAL LEADERS as well as from SCHOOLS. The question we asked them was:
"What do you hope / believe the New Inquiry will achieve?"
"The aim of the Government in appointing the Tribunal of Inquiry was to look at the evidence which was not previously available to the Widgery Tribunal and to publish its findings. The Inquiry will be looking at the material not previously available and any other material from both the Government and the relatives of those killed or injured on Bloody Sunday. The reason that the Government decided to appoint a New Inquiry was to establish once and for all what actually happened on 30 January 1972."
"I can assure you that when it has been completed, and the report published, the Government will attach to the findings of the Inquiry the importance it deserves. It is not possible to state what action will be taken until after the report has been studied in depth."
...Steve Smith, on behalf of Mo Mowlam, Secretary of State For Northerh Ireland
"any genuine and open-minded effort to establish truth, justice and reconciliation is to be welcomed."
...Louis Henderson, on behalf of Dr. Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury
"The Irish Government welcomed the announcement of the intention to establish a new, independent judicial Tribunal of Inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday.
I met the victims and relatives of the victims on many occasions, both before and since taking office, and I have always been impressed by their steadfast commitment and dedication to establishing the truth of what happened on Bloody Sunday. They have pursued the cause of truth, in the face of grief, loss and injustice with dignity and determination.
The Irish Government published its Assessment of the new material on Bloody Sunday, (available on the Department of the Taoiseach website http;/www.irlgov.ie/taoiseach/publication/bsundayreport/default.htm), because it was appropriate, as the Assessment played such an important part in bringing about the decision to hold the Inquiry, and because truth and justice can serve the objectives of peace, stability and reconciliation.
The Irish Government will devote all its energies towards working to ensure that no family will ever again have to bear the burden of grief and loss that has been borne by the relatives of the victims of Bloody Sunday and by so many other families throughout these islands."
...Taoiseach Mr.. Bertie Ahern T.D.
"First of all, I do not believe that the New Inquiry was necessary since I think that it is further appeasement by the Government of those elements in our society who support the IRA, and who wish to use every propaganda means at their disposal to discredit the British Government and the security forces in Northern Ireland.
I believe that the New Inquiry will simply be used as a further propaganda weapon by republicans, and already I notice that there are calls for prosecutions even though the Inquiry has not made its findings known.
I think that the Government would be better disposed in giving resources to the security forces to hunt down and bring to justice those who have murdered people across our Province during the last thirty years.
Thank you for writing me and I trust that this clarifies my position for you."
... Peter D Robinson MP
"The President shares the desire for peace in Northern Ireland, and will continue to avail of all opportunities appropriate to her office to promote peace and reconciliation throughout the island of Ireland."
... Office of the Secretary to the President 20 May, 1998
"I hope the New Inquiry achieves a new perspective on the history of Bloody Sunday and that new evidence will be found to convict the murderers that killed innocent people."
...Ava Branton, Age 17 years, Hazelwood College Belfast
"In order for justice to be done I think the British Army should be treated like real murderers and sentenced to life imprisonment, after all they murdered unarmed civilians. Hopefully the families of the victims will be able to come to terms with the death of their loved ones once justice has been served."
...Karen Johnston, Age 17 years old, Hazelwood College Belfast
"I hope a full apology will be made by the British Government to the families of the people murdered by the British Army and compensation will be given to the families for the injustice that happened to them."
...James Nulty, Age 17 years, Hazelwood College Belfast
"I watched a documentary on Bloody Sunday and saw the true events. The Widgery report was false, made up to cover the British Army's blunder. The New Inqury should descredit the Widgery Report and state the real case. The soldiers opened up on unarmed civilians, then planted weapons on them. I want the British Government to admil responsibility so those who died can rest in peace."
...Richard Teer, Age 17 years, Hazelwood College Belfast
"I hope that through a New Inquiry about the events of Bloody Sunday it will bring about justice for the families of the people who were killed and punish the people who killed the unarmed civilians. If Unionist and Republican groups can be jailed for their actions, so can the British Army."
... Laura Wright, Age 17 years, Hazelwood College Belfast
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